Buffalo, N.Y. – Sept. 20, 2017 – For 71 years, the historic Buffalo International Horse Show (BIHS) has offered the nation’s finest horses and riders the chance to come together and compete at one of the most premier equestrian facilities in the country, and this year was no exception.
The 2017 BIHS, which is held each year as a benefit for the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center (BTRC), returned to the Buffalo Equestrian Center Sept. 13–17 and was dedicated in memory of the legendary horseman and veterinarian Dr. John Steele. This year featured fantastic incentives for exhibitors as well as the always popular annual silent auction, which presented an assortment of highly sought-after one-of-a-kind prizes.
The week’s highlight event was the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation USHJA National Hunter Derby held on Saturday evening. With a large field of top competitors vying for first place honors, it was Jennifer Alfano and SBS Farms, Inc.’s Stardust who stole the spotlight, winning the two-round derby competition with beautiful efforts. Alfano also impressed the judges to take home second place in the class with Kathy Chiaf’s Silver Lining, while Jennifer Gurney rode her own Gianni to third place.
Earlier in the week, Alfano and the talented 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Stardust, also claimed the win in the $1,500 USHJA 3’/3’3″ Green Incentive on Thursday in addition to the Roses Are Red Grand Hunter Challenge Trophy at the conclusion of the week. Finishing just behind Stardust in Thursday’s competition, Alfano took second place with Sharon O’Neill’s Talladega, while Chiaf rode her own Kindred to round out the top three.
New champions were also crowned in the professional hunter divisions. The winning tricolor in the Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter division and the Courier Express Trophy was awarded to Alfano aboard Susan Kimberly’s Girl Crush. The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Crisp, ridden by Alfano, clinched the championship in the Performance 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter division.
Santa Maspane and Kennedy, owned by Kathryn Haefner LLC, also came out on top in the Low 3′ Hunter division, holding on to their lead from Wednesday to secure the championship title on the second day of competition.
Equitation competition on Friday was dominated by Sydney Degrazia and her own Reveille Z, who took top honors in the ASPCA Maclay, the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase.
The Amateur-Owner 36 and Over 3’3″ Hunter division wrapped up on Friday and went to Christa Carson and her own Weatherman, who rode to first place in the final over fences round as well as the $1,000 Up The Creek Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter Classic to clinch championship honors in the division. The winning tricolor in the Adult Amateur 36 and Over Hunter division went to Christine Steer and her own Marvelous.
In the $500 “Shogun” Adult Amateur Hunter Classic on Saturday, Clare Karlovec and her own Milord Du Valon came away with the win as well as the Adult Amateur 18–35 Hunter division championship.
Emma Kurtz and Rebekah Warren’s Enticement took home the blue in the $1,000 Up The Creek Farm Junior 3’3″/3’6″ Hunter Classic on Saturday and was named the Grand Champion Junior Hunter for the 2017 BIHS. Kurtz was also named the Best Junior and Child Rider of the event. The Junior 3’3″ Hunter division culminated on Sunday with Emma Walters clinching the championship aboard the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Crisp.
In the $500 “Say Hey” Children’s Hunter Classic on Sunday, Jessica Lewis and her own Injoy Z claimed the first place prize. Linnea Garrison and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Copyright clinched the win in the $500 Johnson Horse Transportation Silver Stirrup Classic. Gianni, ridden by Gurney, claimed the championship in the Children’s 14 and Under Hunter division, while the Children’s 15–17 Hunter division went to Lewis and Injoy Z, who also were named the overall Grand Champion Children’s Hunter.
The Pony Hunter division saw Dressed To Go, owned and ridden by Vivian Golden, take home the championship win. In the Pre-Adult 2’6″ Hunter division, Mary Trincanati rode the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Abundance to the championship tricolor. Molly Gfroerer and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center’s Churchill were also named champion in the Pre-Children’s 2’6″ Hunter division.
Jumper competition at the 2017 BIHS was highlighted by the Children’s/Adult 1.10m–1.15m Jumpers and the Low Children’s/Adult 1.0m Jumpers. The Children’s/Adult 1.10m Jumpers saw Aaron Donnan and Charity Donnan’s Real Super Quick live up to their name, clocking in with the fastest time to grab first place honors in both classes on Friday.
Donnan also rode Charity Donnan’s After Joe into first place in the $1,500 S.A. Comunale Low Children’s/Adult 1.0m Jumper Classic on Saturday. For his consistent top performances over the course of Friday and Saturday, Donnan was awarded the championship and Grand Champion Jumper Ford Roy Trophy in the Children’s/Adult 1.10m–1.15m Jumper division as well as the Low Children’s/Adult 1.0m Jumper division at the BIHS.
“We had a great horse show,” concluded Susie Schoellkopf, executive director of the BTRC. “The staff is unbelievable and the place looked beautiful. I think it’s a horse show people are drawn to because we care about the presentations and we care about the exhibitor. There are also a lot of great restaurants and things to do here so everyone always has a great time.”
The BIHS had another fantastic week of competition thanks to the many exhibitors, sponsors and all of those involved! See the complete list of division champions from the 2017 BIHS here!
The BIHS is the most prominent fundraiser of the year for the BTRC.
The BIHS is an AA rated hunter/jumper show and offers excellent preparation for horses and riders who will be competing at indoor finals this fall as the facility features one of the largest indoor riding arenas in the nation. Whether you attend this year’s BIHS as preparation for the fall indoor circuit and zone finals or to cheer on your friends and family, the BTRC welcomes you to their home and wishes all exhibitors a fun and successful show!
For more information regarding the BIHS and BTRC, please click here.